Bernice What Was That

To create post-Feist indie rock in 2012 can be pretty simple stuff. The blueprint is well published and evaluated, as even Leslie's latest album, Metals, exists within these confines. The difficult question is: how do you dip a toe into the playful/tough girl romance genre without sounding stale? On their debut, What Was That, Robin Dann and Thom Gill, of Toronto, ON outfit Bernice, find success doing exactly that. Exercising a substantial dose of patience and style over 11 very adult indie "rockers," tracks like "New Bodies" and "Don't" mix gentle, traditional chanteuse vocals with spacious, electro-tinged backing tracks. But by the time Sade-esque rhythm maker "Pacemaker" and the trip-hop extra-lite beats of "Forgiven" enter your psyche, it's apparent that Bernice have a good grasp on how to speak to forward-thinking listeners. This makes What Was That appropriate for those ready to be seduced by conduct rather than concept. (Independent)